Fire extinguishers can help reduce the amount of fire damage to your home if the fire is detected early and if you know how to properly use a fire extinguisher.

The acronym PASS is frequently used by firefighters and extinguisher manufacturers to teach the proper method for using fire extinguishers.  PASS stands for:

  • Pull Pin
  • Aim the nozzle or hose at the base of the fire while standing at a recommended safe distance
  • Squeeze the operating lever to discharge the fire extinguishing agent
  • Sweep the nozzle or hose from side to side until the fire is out starting at the recommended safe distance.  Continue to discharge agent until the extinguisher is empty.  Move forward or around the fire area as the fire diminishes.  Watch the area in case of re-ignition.

Remember, fire extinguishers are not meant to put out large fires in the home.  Always make sure that everyone has gotten out of the building.  If you are able to catch a fire early, remember to stay between the fire and your exit so you can escape if the fire gets out of hand.  Once a fire spreads, it is important to evacuate the structure and let the fire fighting professionals do their job.